WINNIPEG – The Manitoba Moose looked like a team that spent the whole weekend travelling. After a grueling Texas road trip the Moose suffered a 2-1 loss at the hands of the Iowa Wild on Monday at MTS Centre.
Marc Hagel and Guillaume Gelinas scored goals for the Wild. Patrice Cormier scored the lone goal for the Moose.
“I thought the first 10 minutes of the first period, I thought both teams, not a lot of speed to the game.” said Moose head coach Keith McCambridge. “I thought it picked up halfway through the first into the second period not bad. We had some opportunities on the powerplay obviously to get ourselves a goal to get ahead in the game. Some missed opportunities and they score one at the end of the second period. Those are crucial minutes at the end of second periods.”
Leland Irving stopped 32 of 33 shots for the Wild and had a shutout in the works until the final 89 seconds. Eric Comrie started in goal for the Moose and made 27 saves.
There weren’t a whole lot of chances for either team in the first two periods of play.
“It was like a scrappy game,” Cormier said. “You’re battling for ice, they’re pushing, we’re pushing and it seems like not a whole lot is going on.”
Josh Morrissey appeared to get hurt late in the second period. He came out for the start of the third period but left the game soon after. McCambridge could not provide any details on his injury following the game.
It was a fairly uneventful start to the hockey game. The two teams played a scoreless opening period as the Moose outshot the Wild 11-9.
Neither team had much in the way of good scoring chances until midway through the middle period. Jared Knight came in down the wing for the Wild and sent the puck in front for Zach Palmquist but Comrie made a marvellous save on the one-timer to keep it scoreless.
It appeared the game would be goalless through two periods but the Wild won a faceoff in the Moose zone with just five seconds remaining. Centreman Grayson Downing knocked the puck in front and Hagel tucked it in behind Comrie with only 0.5 seconds left on the clock. It was Hagel’s fourth goal of the season and the Wild took a one goal lead to the third period.
“I probably should have never covered up with five seconds left.” Comrie said. “Then just bad bounce, came into the slot, I should have never went for the poke check either. I would have let him come in and hopefully made the save, but it’s a game and sometimes you make wrong reads and that unfortunately ended up in the back of our net.”
Iowa outshot Manitoba 12-10 in the second stanza.
The Wild went on the powerplay early in the final frame. Downing’s shot ricocheted off the skate of Andrew MacWilliam and hit Gelinas in the face. But Gelinas showed some quick reflexes and swatted the loose puck past Comrie. His second goal of the season gave the Wild a little breathing room up by two.
The Moose went to the man advantage midway through the third period. There was a mad scramble for the loose puck in front of Irving but neither Scott Kosmachuk nor Nic Petan could finish it off.
Manitoba pulled their goalie with over two minutes remaining. Austen Brassard just missed on the wraparound as Irving covered up on the goal line.
Then with 1:29 to go Chase De Leo put the shot on goal and Cormier swatted in the rebound to ruin Irving’s shutout bid. Brassard had the other assist on Cormier’s 12th goal of the season. But the Moose couldn’t muster the equalizer in 2-1 defeat.
The Moose powerplay finished the night 0-for-4 while the Wild converted on their one and only opportunity.
The Wild lineup featured a pair of players from the Moose 1.0 days as both Jordan Schroeder and Maxime Fortunus suited up for Iowa. Schroeder recorded one assist.
The Moose were without injured forwards John Albert and Thomas Raffl. Earlier on Monday the Moose re-assigned Brennan Serville to the Tulsa Oilers of the East Coast Hockey League.
The Moose wrap up their mini two game homestand on Wednesday in the rematch with the Wild.
WATCH: The Moose discuss a 2-1 loss to the Iowa Wild on Monday